Vocabulary (Review)

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Lesson Transcript

Hi, everybody, I'm Alisha. Welcome back to Weekly Words. This week we're going to
be talking about advanced Latin phrases. Oh my. If you watched the video from “Intermediate Latin Phrases” a few weeks ago, you might have noticed that my Latin is not very good. Let's start.
The first is “curriculum vitae.” Is that how you say that? “Curriculum vitae.” Vi-tai. Vit-ay. “Curriculum vitae.” Vee-tai? “Curriculum vitae.” You might see this abbreviated as “CV” when you're looking for jobs. Most of the people who are looking for applicants will request your “CV,” or your “curriculum vitae,” which is really just a record of your life, um, your history, often your work history. You might see it written on a job form, um, something like, “All applicants must submit their curriculum vitae to be considered for the position.” But most of the time I see it as “CV.” In American English though, I should point out that you might see “resume” instead, which is the same, the same exact thing that's asking for your work history.
Next is “ad hominem.” “Ad hominem” means to “attack somebody” like when you're arguing or having a discussion, but you're not actually addressing what the other person is saying. You're just attacking that person. So you might say, um, “He was arguing ad hominem,” meaning, in other words, he was not actually debating the issue, but he was just attacking the other person in the argument.
“Deus ex machina” is the next word, and this is a fun word, especially if you like watching
movies. “Deus ex machina” literally means “God from the machinery,” so anytime you're watching a movie and suddenly out of nowhere somebody comes in to save the main character, for, for example, and that's an example of “deus ex machina.” If you're writing, for example, if you, if you’re writing a story, it’s typically a good idea not to use “deus ex machina.” Your teacher might say, “Don't use deus ex machina in your writing,” because it seems kinda cheap, right? You know, your main character gets in a jam, and then something amazing happens, and they’re saved. What’s the fun in that?
The next word, the next phrase, rather, is “magnum opus.” “Magnum opus” just refers
to, um, usually a “masterpiece” or “someone’s life's work,” a huge work. So, like, uh, maybe Beethoven's “magnum opus” would have been his “Fifth,” Beethoven's “Fifth,” what was that? A symphony? Yeah. “Beethoven’s ‘Fifth Symphony’ was perhaps his magnum opus.” Hey, there's a sample sentence right there, so if you if you have a big project that you're working on, maybe, maybe you're an architect, maybe you’re a painter, whatever it is. Whatever’s the biggest thing in your project portfolio, maybe you could refer to as your “magnum opus.” Your great work, whatever's the biggest thing for you.
The next word is “alter-ego.” “Alter-ego” is kind of a fun word. It means “your other self,” so, um, you might have seen characters in movies that have an “alter-ego.” In one situation they behave like one character, but another situation they behave like someone else, their “alter-ego.” Even some of you have an “alter-ego,” and it bothers your friends when you have,
you know, when you behave a certain way with one group of people and a different way with another group of people. That’s your “alter-ego” coming out. It’s not always necessarily a negative thing, like, uh, superheroes have “alter-egos.” So Clark Kent, for example, “Clark Kent’s alter-ego is Superman.” It’s his other self. You've Clark Kent and he’s Superman but in different situations, he's one or the other.
That's it for this one, advanced Latin phrases. I hope you learned some more to build on your intermediate Latin phrases. I will see you again next week for more Weekly Words. Bye-bye!